MANA 2015 Speakers

Bruce AckermanBruce Ackerman, Data Collection Director of the Midwives Alliance Division of Research — where he continues with design and improvement of the web data collection system, supports users of this system, and participates in DOR coordination. His interest in birth comes through his marriage to a midwife, and long-time involvement with the Midwives Alliance, but also through a lifelong interest in the ways that our future and our relationship with technology are envisioned. Bruce also works in the energy and conservation field as well as in embedded software within medical instruments and other applications, and instrumentation design for laboratory research and industrial applications, and is active in his town planning process.

Marcy Andrew, LM, CPM  Moved by the compassion of my midwife Elizabeth Gilmore who cared for me as I gave birth at home in 1994, I was called to be a midwife when I was 23.  I studied at the Northern New Mexico Midwifery Center and received my degree through the National College of Midwifery.  Since then, I’ve attend births in the Philippines and in Guatemala and have worked as a midwife at the Northern New Mexico Birth Center and at Taos Midwifery.  I’ve sat on the Board of Directors of the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council, the New Mexico Midwives Association, the Northern New Mexico Midwifery Center and Breath of My Heart Birthplace in Espanola. It has always been an honor to be a midwife.  Each birth I’ve attended has been a rare opportunity to revel in the diversity of life and the strength of the human spirit.  Some of the most cherished moments of my life have been spent intimately sharing the universally sacred experience of birth with the families of cultures entirely different than my own. My work as a midwife in Taos keeps me inspired and directly connected to my passion. I am so grateful for the support of my dear husband, our boys, and the land that sustains us in our beautiful canyon home.

Rita AparicioRita J. Aparicio





Claire BettlerClaire Bettler, CNM — Claire’s path to midwifery began in 1997 while working in rural Ecuador with a much-loved community midwife, and since graduating from the University of New Mexico’s midwifery program in 2005 she has attended births in rural community health centers, birth centers, and homes. During the early part of her midwifery career she felt honored to live, work, and raise her young children in beautiful Zuni, NM, and most of what she believes about birth comes from her experiences working with women in different cultural contexts. Claire loves facilitating women’s circles and group pregnancy care and is happiest attending births in homes & birth centers. A passionate believer in supporting midwives around the world, she is involved with Midwives for Haiti and Maya Midwifery International and in the past year has spent time working with midwives & pregnant women in Haiti, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. She has two children, both born at home into the hands of her husband and one of her most inspiring midwife mentors.

Virginia BobroVirginia Bobro — co-owns Birthing From Within LLC with Pam England. Currently living in Santa Barbara, CA, Virginia has supported new families since 1995, first as a La Leche League Leader, and, since 2002, as an IBCLC, birth doula, and childbirth educator. She has been leading Birthing From Within workshops for birth professionals internationally since 2006 (including Australia, Israel, the UK, and Canada), and is the Managing & Programs Director and Senior Facilitator for BFW. She has three young adult children, including identical twins.


Cheryllee BourgeoisCheryllee Bourgeois — is a Cree / Metis Registered Midwife. She is a co-founder of Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto, an urban practice focused on serving the needs of Toronto’s Indigenous community. She sits on the Core-Leadership of the National Council of Aboriginal Midwives. Cheryllee is an instructor at the Ryerson University Midwifery Education Program where her focus is teaching about Indigenous midwifery and supporting Indigenous students. She has been a community supporter and knowledge user on several research grants. Most recently, she was Co-Lead in the establishment of a Midwife-led and Indigenous governed Toronto Birth Centre. Cheryllee has 3 children.

Marit BovbjergMarit L. Bovbjerg, PhD, MS HBM —  is a reproductive and health services epidemiologist at Oregon State University.  Her research focuses on midwifery care, home birth, and physical activity during pregnancy. She is the Director of Data Quality for the MANA Division of Research, and a member of the steering committee for the Maternity Care Data Alliance.  She is a home birth mom and an avid knitter who also enjoys playing outside (hiking, gardening, cycling, etc.).  Her most recent significant accomplishment is that, after years of struggle, she can finally spell "hemorrhage" correctly on the first try, every time.

Jill BreenJill Breen, CPM, CLC — has been serving women, babies and families for 36 years as a homebirth midwife and natural family health consultant. A MANA member since 1984, Jill has served on the Board of Directors in several positions including President, as well as on several working committees, and currently is Communications Chair. She is a founding member of Midwives of Maine, a statewide, inclusive association of midwives since 1981. Jill is a Home Birth Summit delegate active on the Collaboration Task Force. She was an appointee to the Maine Governor’s Advisory Committee on Rulemaking regarding certified midwives and was a member of the Maine CDC  Inter-professional Work Group addressing flow of care across birth settings.  The Maine Best Practice Recommendations for Handoff Communication During Transport from a Home or Freestanding Birth Center to a Hospital Setting was approved by the Commissioner of Health and Human Services in November, 2014. Jill writes, speaks, and mentors including as a guest lecturer at University of Maine. She is the mother of 6 children, all born at home, and has 9 grandchildren, all born into the hands of midwives, including her own. 

Vanessa CaldariVanessa Caldari, CPM, BSN  — is the founder of Mujeres Ayudando Madres Inc., a non-profit organization in Puerto Rico focused on educating the community on the options in childbirth and the existence of midwives and their work. She is a Certified Professional Midwife who has an active practice on the island and has been a pioneer midwife in PR. She is the founder and director of the Academy of the Maternal Arts, which is a locally accredited Midwifery school focused on getting MEAC accreditation. She is also a board member of the Committee of Breastfeeding with the Department of Health, and local coordinator of Doula Caribe International.  

Adrienne CarmackAdrienne Carmack, MD — is a board-certified urologist and attentive mother of three intact children, all of whom were born outside of a hospital. She’s questioned circumcision since the beginning, and is a member of the Board of Health Professionals of Intact America. She is the author of Reclaiming My Birth Rights: A Mother’s Wisdom Triumphs Over the Harmful Practices of Her Medical Profession (2014) and the booklet "The Good Mommy’s Guide to Her Little Boy’s Penis" (2015).

Wreatha CarnerWreatha Carner, CNM — was called as a midwife in 1995 and since then has been privileged to attend women in birth. She loves water birth and out-of-hospital birth, while realizing babies can be born at home, in cars, in elevators and even hospitals if absolutely necessary. While working as a midwifery clinical expert in Kenya she found that while babies were listened to during labor, care providers were generally unaware of what information and frank reassurance babies in utero can give the midwife. She dedicates her talk today to the midwives, mothers and newborns of Kenya and the American Southwest.

Tara Cardinal

Melissa CheyneyMelissa Cheyney, PhD, CPM, LDM — is an Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology and the Director of the Reproductive Health Laboratory at Oregon State University. She is a Certified Professional Midwife, Chair of the Board of Direct-entry Midwifery for the State of Oregon, Chair of the Division of Research for the Midwives Alliance, and the author of several publications on midwifery care including the recent JMWH (2014) article entitled “Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Panned Home Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009.”

Demetria ClarkDemetria Clark —  is a Master Herbalist and Aromatherapist, Professional Doula Trainer, Midwife, and Childbirth Educator. She is the author of  Herbal Healing for Children, 475 Herbal and Aromatherapy Recipes, Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Healing, and an upcoming to be titled book on aromatherapy for pregnancy. Demetria Clark is the Director and Founder of Birth Arts International and Heart of Herbs Herbal School. She previously has worked as a midwife in the US and Switzerland.

Justine CleggJustine Clegg, MS, LM, CPM —  is Association of Midwifery Educators Board President. A Florida Licensed Midwife since 1987, she is Academic Director and Faculty for Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery since 2009 and Miami-Dade Community College Midwifery Director/faculty emeritus (1993-2008). Former Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery Chair (1993-2001) and Miami FIMR committee chair (2004-2009), she is also a licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Lactation Counselor. She graduated from the South Florida School of Midwifery and earned her MS from Florida International University. She served on the MEAC and NACPM Boards.

Sora ColvinSora Colvin, CPM — In 2012, Sora Colvin closed her busy urban US homebirth practice and moved with her husband and children to Davao City, Philippines. For the last three years she has lived and worked cross-culturally as a Christian missionary, birth clinic supervisor, and midwifery educator. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwifery Education Accreditation Counsel. Her professional interests include midwifery education, research and evidence-based practice, and global maternal-child health disparities. Sora is the mother of six children born into the hands of midwives.

Mary CooperMary Cooper — I am a midwife with a private practice that lives around and beside three Amish communities and two Mennonite communities. I caught my first baby September 28, 1978 after a two-year apprenticeship with The Center for Humane Options in Childbirth Experiences (CHOICE) in Columbus, Ohio. I started my Midwifery career in Columbus, Ohio and later moved to Lorain, Ohio and Mansfield, Ohio. I now live and practice in the Ashland, Ohio area. I have helped or attended 65-70 breech babies, 35 sets of twins, approximately 70-72 VBAC births with mothers having from one to four previous cesareans. I'm the mother of three children, two daughters and one son. My son is an adult with Down’s Syndrome, and is the kindest and most gentle person that I know.  I also have two grandchildren.

Kim CoxKim J. Cox, PhD, CNM — is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing, Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she teaches research methods and midwifery courses. She is the author of a number of publications on VBAC and home birth, and her research has been presented in the UK, Czech Republic, and throughout the USA. Kim served as a delegate to the Home Birth Summit in 2014 and recently completed an analysis of planned home VBAC outcomes from the MANA Stats 2.0 data set with members of the MANA Division of Research.  

Ida DarraghIda Darragh —  is a member of the NARM Board, currently acting as chairman and director of testing. She has been a midwife in Little Rock, Arkansas, since 1980. She travels to many states teaching workshops related to midwifery practice and the politics of midwifery, and represents NARM when speaking to state and national legislators and policy makers. On the local level, she has served on the Midwifery Advisory Board of the Arkansas Department of Health and in various roles in the Arkansas Association of Midwives.

Esperanza DodgeEsperanza Dodge, BA, MSW — is a proud New Mexican Hispanic, born and raised in ‘burque, New Mexico. Esperanza is YWU’s Mamas Justice Organizer. Being a mother has fueled her passion to work hard for justice for all families. In this role, she works towards birth justice for all families, including families living through addiction and incarceration. She is involved with the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force and chairs the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee. Esperanza enjoys offering personalized, culturally-relevant breastfeeding and postpartum support to new mamas and parents. Esperanza holds a BA degree in Sociology and an MSW in Bilingual/Bicultural Social Work.

Colleen Donovan-BatsonColleen Donovan-Batson, CNM, NP —  is a midwifery activist with 25 years of maternal-child healthcare experience. Colleen lives in northeast WA, where she has a small homebirth practice and advocates for women veterans. She has served on the faculty of both direct entry and nurse midwifery programs, and as a preceptor for nurse midwifery distance learning programs. Colleen is active in state and national midwifery organizations, promoting unity in the midwifery profession.  She is a member of the Midwifery Advisory Committee for WA State DOH, the US MERA workgroup, and serves as the director of the Midwives Alliance Division of Health Policy and Advocacy.

Karen EhrlichKaren Ehrlich, CPM — Midwife of 40 years (now retired from primary care midwifery), writer, teacher, poet, lover of song. Active in midwifery politics, review of continuing education applications, midwifery school accreditation review, probiotics research. 



Pam EnglandPam England, Author, Midwife — former midwife, is the founder and author of Birthing From Within and The Labyrinth of Birth. She is a Birth Story Listener, and created and leads the popular Birth Story Listening long-distance course. Pam is an artist, capturing metaphorical, mythical images and mandalas of birth and the hero’s journey (oil, acrylics, and clay). Pam lives and works from Albuquerque.

Tannia EsparzaTannia Esparza — is a first generation Queer Xicana, raised in Santa Barbara, CA by immigrant parents from Mexico.  Tannia is the Executive Director of Young Women United and ensures organizing, leadership development, culture shift and policy strategies uplift those most impacted by the issues. She has been involved in social justice work for the past decade around LGBTQ liberation, gender justice, and racial justice. 

Jessica Frechette-Gutfreund — is a white, gender non-conforming midwife born and raised in Cincinnati OH. She has over 15 years of experience working around issues of social and reproductive justice as an anti-oppression organizer, health researcher, educator, and midwife. She isowner of Española Midwifery Service where she provides low-cost midwifery services to women and families in the setting where they feel most comfortable. She works with Breath of My Heart Birthplace, a community initiated birth center project.  She has served as Chief Academic Officer for the National College of Midwifery since 2010.

Neva GerkeNeva Gerke, LM, CPM, MSM — Neva Gerke is the midwife and owner of Laoch Midwifery in Tacoma, WA and an adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. In the years since her pivotal calling to midwifery, Neva has dedicated herself to learning the trade and art of caring for families during the childbearing year while participating in midwifery activism on a state and national level. She has committed herself to improving midwifery care for all families and working toward resolving the many health disparities that exist within her community through activism, midwifery care, and in her personal life.  

Eve GermanEve German, LM, CPM, MSM — Eve is an English major turned midwife. Born and raised in Hockessin, Delaware, she had only ever wanted to be an English professor but, "I caught midwifery and midwifery caught me."   Much of her path to midwifery has encompassed anti-racism training and advocacy. She feels strongly that midwifery and anti-racism work for her are one and the same, and that there is much to be done to increase access to midwifery, both as a maternity care option and as a profession for women and midwives of color.  She is currently practicing in Salt Lake City, UT and is a member of the adjunct faculty at Bastyr University. 

Tonita Gonzales, BS, BA — received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from The American University in Washington, DC. She studied Traditional Medicine at the Universida Autonoma de Morelos at Centro de Desarollo Humano Hacia La Comunidad. She completed her diplomados (certifications by the department of health) in Acupuncture, Medicinal Plants, Massage (Sobadas), and Temazcal (Mexica sweatlodge). Tonita worked side-by-side with several different Curanderos through out Mexico. She currently has her own practice, Tonantzin Traditional Healing in Albuquerque, and is the director of RAICES, a collaborative of community education.  She also practices in Mexico City at Temazcal Tonatiuh, and School/Clinic La Cultura Cura, in Mataxhi, Mexico (an indigenous Otomi Community).  For over 6 years she has worked with the University of New Mexico teaching classes and coordinating community health fairs.

Sunny Rose HealeySunny Rose Healey — Sunny’s personal healing journey began with the need to heal herself from digestive disturbances, headaches, and physical pain stemming from injury. She found yoga in 1997, began a regular practice, and co-founded Soma Yoga Center in 1999. She studied Ayurveda with Jaisri Lambert, and subsequently attended the Ayurvedic Institute, graduating from the advanced Ayurvedic Studies Program in 2009. Sunny has been on faculty at the Institute since 2009 and maintains a private practice in Santa Fe for women and children based mainly on Ayurveda. Sunny is currently an Apprentice Midwife and is co-founder and director of Mama Ayurveda, an online information hub for moms and families that also offers an Ayurveda for Women course. 

Vicki HedleyVicki Hedley, CPM, CM — has been attending births since 1996, first as a doula, doula trainer, and childbirth educator and since 2008 as a CPM when she graduated from the National College of Midwifery. In 2010 she also became a CM. Her learning occurred through the apprenticeship model in many different settings with beautiful and wise midwives who taught the art of midwifery through their example. She continues the tradition of mentoring others through study groups and apprenticeship. She serves on the MANA Board of Directors as Treasurer.

Nandi Andrea M. Hill — is an Albuquerque, New Mexico midwife. Born into a family of birth and breastfeeding advocates, she moved from Chicago to New Mexico 15 years ago to learn the art of a Midwife. Nandi is also a mother of three beautiful children, all born at home. She is passionate on educating the public on the importance of the inequitable differences in birth outcomes for African descendants in the USA. Nandi has been a New Mexico representative for The International Center for Traditional Childbearing, Black Midwives for 7 years. Nandi also works with the New Mexico Birth Justice coalition.

Diane HolzerDiane Holzer, LM, CPM, PA-C —  is a homebirth midwife of over 20 years and also practices as physician’s assistant in a rural healthcare clinic. She has been actively involved with Midwives’ Alliance of North America (MANA) for over 16 years and has been on the faculty at Maternidad La Luz, a midwifery training program, for over 10 years. She has been the regional representative for the Americas and is a past president of MANA.

Holly HoranHolly Horan, MA, CD — has a masters degree in Medical Anthropology and is a practicing birth and post-partum doula and a fourth-year doctoral candidate at Oregon State University (OSU) in the Applied Medical Anthropology program. Her research focuses on perceived maternal stress and gestational age at delivery in Puerto Rico and she is an active member of current midwifery collaborations between OSU and Puerto Rican parteras. Holly has been a Data Doula for the MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) Statistics Project, where she regularly engages with contributors from across the country and provides them with the support they need to be a successful MANA contributor. She is a member of the MANA Stats 4.0 Validation study, and a student investigation on numerous additional maternal and infant health projects.

Sarah HunterSarah Hunter, CPM, CH — has been studying and working in the field of alternative and complimentary medicine since 1999. Her passion was lit with herbal medicine, which then naturally progressed into midwifery. Certified with the North American Registry of Midwives, she has been working with pregnant families since 2004. Her view of illness and wellness is filtered through her understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Sarah has many projects and interests including managing two small businesses and volunteering as an Online Community Manager for MANA.

Cassaundra JahCassaundra Jah, CPM, IBCLC — is a former co-chair of the New Mexico Midwives Association and board member of the DOH New Mexico Licensed Midwifery Advisory Board. She found her life’s purpose while pregnant with her second child; to follow it all she had to do was quit her day job as an Aerospace Engineer and go back to school. She has authored two books and is currently rebuilding her practice in Maui after moving back home in August from Albuquerque.

Courtney Key JareckiCourtney Key Jarecki, Author, Doula —  has worked as a doula, childbirth educator, and a midwifery apprentice, but her path forever shifted after the birth of her daughter. Today she is the executive director of Homebirth Cesarean International (HBCI), nonprofit she co-founded. She is the author of Homebirth Cesarean: Stories and Support for Families and Healthcare Providers, a book for mothers, families, and birth professionals that details the HBC experience from pregnancy through the subsequent birth of another child. As a companion piece, she also authored Healing From a Homebirth Cesarean, a workbook for HBC mothers.
 Courtney lives in Oregon. 

Christine KentChristine Ann Kent, RN — is the founder of Whole Woman and author of Saving the Whole Woman. Since 2003 she has helped thousands of women avoid surgery for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Her own profound uterine prolapse lead her to seek the root cause in the medical, biological, and anthropological literature while experimenting with various dance and bodywork modalities. The breakthrough came that prolapse and incontinence were symptoms of a postural problem that leads to organ displacement. Christine has trained and certified Whole Woman Practitioners in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. She lives and works in Albuquerque, NM.

Anna D. KhamsamranAnna D. Khamsamran, PADI OWSI, MSDT, MI, SI  is NCM's Chief Operations Officer and Registrar. She is responsible for overseeing NCM's office and all student and preceptor files, as well as for all NCM's administrative requirements. She spent over 18 years in Thailand as the managing director of a dive school and working as a scuba diving instructor. She holds certification as a PADI Master Instructor and in eleven other specialty ratings. She speaks Thai fluently and has intermediate skills in Spanish. Anna is trained in database development and created and manages NCM's database and website. She is an accomplished educator, artist and writer. An interesting fact ... Anna's mother, Elizabeth Gilmore delivered Anna's daughter in a beach bungalow in Thailand in 1992.

Ursula Knoki-WilsonUrsula Knoki-Wilson, CNM, MSM —  has worked many years in promoting the integration of Navajo cultural concepts into health care practice for health professionals. She serves as Chairperson on the Traditional Navajo Medicine Committee at Chinle Service Unit. She hold numerous awards and two most recent are: Chief Nurse Officer Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to Nursing; and 2012 IHS Director’s Special Recognition Award for serving on the National Nurse Leadership Council. She has also served as Chief of Nurse Midwifery Service within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility.  

Angelika Maria KochDr. Angelika Maria Koch, DNM, LCH, HNHIr — is a Doctor of Natural Medicine, Homeopath, Iridologist, Sclerologist, author, teacher and owner of Medica Nova, Practice for Integrated & Educational Medicine, Taos, NM. She applies and synthesizes a unique blend of effective and cutting-edge therapeutic tools in a holistic and innovative approach for this complex and unfolding New World. She is also the award-winning author of The Dance of Your Core Healing, Transforming Your Mind, Body & Soul in the New World

Donna Michelle LaffertyDonna Michelle Lafferty, BSN, RN, CPM-TN — has served women in hospitals and homes for over 19 years.  She is the mother of 3 birth children, 2 adoptive children, and 75 foster children.  She and her husband Larry live in rural Tennessee where they are active in their church, family, and providing nursing/midwifery care to the surrounding counties.  


Mary Lawlor

Lawrence LeemanLawrence Leeman, MD, MPH — is Professor of Family and Community Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He is the director of UNM Family Medicine Maternal Child Health clinical service, co-medical director of University Hospital Mother Baby Unit and Level Two Nursery, and Medical Director for the Milagro Perinatal Substance Abuse program. He is the medical consultant for the Dar a Luz Birth Center in Albuquerque.  As a faculty member at UNM he has worked for fifteen years as a consultant for home birth and birth center midwives and helped care for their clients who have required hospital transport.  He was the physician member of the New Mexico State Licensed midwifery advisory board from 1993-1998l. He was in rural practice with the Zuni Indian Ramah Indian Health Service from 1992-1998 where he was the Director of Maternity Care at a facility using a birth center model. He authored articles addressing the safety of the birth center model and low cesarean rate achieved.  He is the Managing Editor of the AAFP’s Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics course.

Rebecca LeemanRebecca Leeman, CNM — is the lead midwife at Women’s Specialists of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She has been midwifing for 24 years, the early of those years inspired with working with Zuni and Navajo families. Rebecca is an ALSO instructor, and has taught international ALSO in Mexico, Guatemala, and India. Current projects include policy changes in hospital on behalf of midwives and the women they serve. Her three sons born were at home and are nearly grown.

Amy Levi, CNM, WHNP-BC, PhD, FACNM — is the Albers Professor of Midwifery at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing.  She was formerly on the faculty of the University of California San Francisco, University of Vermont, and the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Levi has presented internationally on midwifery education, clinical practice, and reproductive health.  She has published on these topics in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, Qualitative Health Research, Midwifery, and others.  She is on the editorial boards of Midwifery and the Journal of Asian Midwives, and a founding member of the New Mexico Perinatal Collaborative. 

Audrey LevineAudrey Levine LM, CPM — has been a licensed midwife in Olympia, Washington since 2001. She was the President of the Midwives’ Association of WA State (MAWS) from 2008 – 2012 and continues to serve as Chair of the Legislative and Policy Committee. In 2012, she joined the NACPM Board and is currently serving as Vice-President.  She is also the Project Coordinator for Smooth Transitions, a quality-improvement initiative of the WA State Perinatal Collaborative to enhance the safety of planned out-of-hospital birth transfers.

Tamara_LittlesTamara Joy Littles, CNM — is a certified nurse-midwife whose passion for midwifery was inspired by an opportunity to volunteer in maternal-child health in Ghana, West Africa. Originally from Chicago, she has lived in New Mexico for 9 years. She graduated from the University of New Mexico College of Nursing, Midwifery Program in 2011, and since then she has worked with the University of New Mexico Midwifery Group. Tamara works to promote physiologic birth in the hospital setting, as well as bringing awareness to the health disparities of women of color, and mentoring women of color who are interested in careers in midwifery.

Iindra LuseroIndra Lusero, Esq. works as an organizer, trainer, and lawyer practicing family formation and regulatory law in Colorado. Indra’s publications include “Challenging Hospital VBAC Bans Through Tort Liability” and “Making the Midwife Impossible: How the Structure of Maternity Care Harms the Practice of Home Birth Midwifery.” Indra went to law school after attending a MANA conference in 2005 where folks lamented not having a “hot shot team of lawyers” who could help defend midwives. Indra has endeavored to develop just such a team.

Nicole Maillis, LM, CPM — My professional journey as a midwife began 20 years ago with the birth of my first of six children. It was the nourishing support that I received from my midwife and the experience of a home birth which set my heart on the path of midwifery. For over twenty years, I have immersed myself in the studies of  herbal medicine, homeopathy, reflexology, iridology, acupressure, midwifery, ayurvedic medicine and other holistic modalities of healing.  Before studying midwifery, I also trained as a doula and childbirth educator. I have studied with the School of Natural Healing, the oldest herbal school in the country.  Upon graduating from the National College of Midwifery and completing my apprenticeship with the Northern New Mexico Midwifery Center, I founded Taos Homebirth and Midwifery (now Taos Midwifery). I love serving my sisters and their families and feel an innate responsibility as a woman to do my part in promoting healthier maternal and infant outcomes.

Jeanette McCullochJeanette McCulloch, IBCLC — has been combining communications work and women’s health advocacy for more than 20 years. She is a co-founder of BirthSwell, which is improving infant and maternal health - and the way we talk about birth and breastfeeding - through strategic communications and social media. She is a board member of Citizens for Midwifery, and is active in local, statewide, and national birth and breastfeeding advocacy projects. She has two children, both born with the assistance of midwives.

Jaymi McKayJaymi McKay, LM, CPM, RN — is a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and a Direct Entry Midwife. She has enjoyed a sweet homebirth practice in Albuquerque for the past 11 years while simultaneously working as an RN and now an NP.  She teaches basic midwifery skills to community midwives including neonatal resuscitation, basic pharmacology and IV therapy.  She believes that these practical skills complement the Art of Midwifery by adding a technical degree of safety for those few and far between moments when one must act. Her IV experience includes Labor and Delivery, Emergency Room and Pre-operative settings where excellent IV skills were a must.  Additionally, she has served as the Maternal Health Program Manager, licensing and regulating midwives for the New Mexico Department of Health and is currently serving on the New Mexico Licensed Midwife Advisory Board.  She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, a Master’s of Science Community Health and a Master’s of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner.  Her career has focused been almost exclusively in women’s health ranging from L&D, homebirth and reproductive health.   

Jen McLellanJen McLellan, Author, CBE — is a writer and certified childbirth educator who advocates for plus size women. She promotes positive information to empower healthy decision making during pregnancy. Within her blog, Plus Size Mommy Memoirs, she helps women navigate the world of plus size pregnancy, shares tips for embracing your body, and laughs along with the adventures of motherhood. Her work has been featured in major publications such as Yahoo Shine, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, and International Doula. Jen is also a skilled patient advocate, professional speaker, wife, and mother to a charismatic 4 year old.

Jude MeltonJude Melton, CPM, LM  is a  midwife in Mesa Arizona.  She began Sunrise Midwifery in 2004 after graduating from the 3 year program at Maternidad La Luz in El Paso Texas. Jude is the primary midwife providing homebirth and birth center care in the Phoenix metro area. Currently Jude holds a position as committee member for the Arizona Advisory Board for Midwives and is active in the community. Jude enjoys international travel and learning about midwifery abroad.

Laura Migliaccio, CNM — has been the Chief of Midwifery in the Ob-Gyn Department at the UNM School of Medicine for over ten years. Over the last 25 years she has worked as a midwife, nurse, childbirth instructor, and breastfeeding educator in Albuquerque and on the Navajo reservation. Ms. Migliaccio is an ALSO instructor and has been active in education, policy and research related to pregnancy and midwifery. Both her sons were born at home into the gentle hands of midwives.

Carrie MurphyCarrie Murphy, CD — is a DONA-certified birth doula, poet, and birth activist. Originally from Baltimore, MD, she lives in Albuquerque and works as the Baby-Friendly Events Coordinator for the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force. Carrie has an MFA in Creative Writing from New Mexico State University and also works as a freelance writer and teacher. She is in the process of becoming certified as a lactation educator. 

Felina OrtizDr. Felina Ortiz — After practicing as a certified nurse-midwife in clinical practice within underserved communities for eight years, Felina Ortiz joined the University of New Mexico College of Nursing faculty in 2011. Dr. Ortiz led the development and implementation of prenatal group care facilitated by midwives and community health workers (CHWs) in a faculty practice based in a rural community health center. She leads a community maternal child health elective for undergraduate students as well as teaches Women’s Health and Newborn care within the nurse-midwifery and family nurse practitioner programs. Her clinical scholarship foci included awareness and improvement for maternal child health disparities within communities of color as well as recruitment and support of students and faculty of color. With this is mind, she co-created the New Mexico chapter of Midwives of Color.

Rita Navarrete Perez — is from Mataxhi Mexico (Otomi), and has been practicing and teaching traditional medicine for over 30 years. She has been a professor at Centro de desarollo Humano Hacia la Communidad for over 19 years, and has taught with the UNM Curanderismo Class for over 15 years. Rita has been a bridge between two countries, and the importance of traditional medicine in community health. She is the director of a non profit community collaborative in Mexico, La Cultura Cura, and director of Temazcal Tonatiuh. Rita is a Yerbera (Herbalist), Sobadora (Hands on Healing), Huesera (bone-setter), Nutricion (Nutritionist), and a Temazcalera (Meso-American sweatlodge). She is internationally renowned for Laugh therapy. 

Nasima Pfaffl, MA —  is a second generation homebirther and medical sociologist with a focus on the maternity care system in the US and social movements. She is the current president of Citizens for Midwifery. She has served on the boards of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) and BirthNetwork National. She worked as the MEAC Accreditation Coordinator until staying home with her daughter two years ago. She currently provides tech and webinar services to midwifery groups. 

Michelle Pino, CNM, MSN

David PulleyDavid Pulley, MSM — With over a decade of healthcare liability insurance experience, Mr. Pulley understands the complexities of professional liability insurance for physicians, midwives and other health care providers. As a father of six children, he also appreciates the challenges that young mothers face today when making life-altering decisions in the changing healthcare landscape in addition to various pressures in today’s workplace. He works as a healthcare underwriter for OneBeacon Professional Insurance, holds the Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU) designation from the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) as well as a master’s degree in Risk Management & Insurance from Florida State University.


Marnie RaeleneMarnie Raelene, MSM — is a student of the Bastyr University Masters of Science in Midwifery program very close to graduating. Before midwifery school she worked in a women's health clinic that served many women experiencing miscarriage. That experience sparked her interest in writing a practice guideline for midwives on expectant management of miscarriage for her Master's project.  She is excited to share her practice guideline with midwives who support women going through pregnancy loss all over the world.

Aviva RommAviva Romm, MD — is a Board Certified Family Physician, midwife, herbalist and the creator of Herbal Medicine for Women, a distance course with nearly 1000 students around the world, and Healthiest Kids University, also with nearly 1000 students. Dr. Romm is a leader in the revolution to transform the current medical system into one that respects the intrinsic healing capacities of the body and nature - while helping women take their health into their own hands.  Her areas of research include botanical medicine with a focus on the needs of women and children, improving maternity care models, mind-body medicine, and the impact of environment on health. She is a gardener, artist, and visionary physician, as well as the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of two — all 6 born at home.

Barbara Katz RothmanBarbara Katz Rothman, PhD — is a Professor of Sociology, Women's Studies and Public Health at the City University of New York, and on the faculty of the International Midwifery Preparation Program at Ryerson University in Toronto. Her books include In Labor: Women and Power in the Birthplace, updated with Wendy Simonds as Laboring On;  The Tentative Pregnancy; Recreating Motherhood; and Weaving a Family.  She keynoted the first meeting of MANA, and was recently named "Midwife to the Movement," in honor of her decades of commitment to midwifery. Her forthcoming book compares the birth movement to the food movement. 

Nichele R. Salazar, CNM, MSN

Valerie SassonValerie Sasson, LM, CPM — is a resident midwife and a founding co-owner of Puget Sound Midwives and Birth Center in Kirkland, Washington. She is currently serving as President of the Midwives Association of Washington State, adjunct clinical faculty at Bastyr University Department of Midwifery and is former Chair of the Midwifery and Birthing Center Joint Underwriting Association under the auspices of the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Ms. Sasson earned her BA from Brown University in 1986 and midwifery education from the Seattle Midwifery School in 1999. She worked in urban community health during the interim. Equity, collaboration and shared responsibility between families, among midwives and within the larger medical community that enhances the safety and satisfaction of birth is of particular interest. 

Hilary SchlingerHilary Schlinger, CNM, MS, RN, CPM (Retired) — has practiced midwifery in both New York and New Mexico, under differing titles but with the same spirit, since 1982. After attending almost 1000 births, in 2011 she turned her attention to providing midwifery-model, integrative healthcare to all women. Hilary first attended a MANA conference in 1984, was the North Atlantic Regional Representative to the MANA Board for four years, and is the author of the book Circle of Midwives detailing the first ten years of MANA's evolution. She has also served as editor of four midwifery texts, preceptor for numerous midwifery students, and past adjunct professor for Philadelphia University, where she taught the on-line course “Homebirth Practice Essentials.” She was the first midwife in the US to go through the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) physician training program (2011), and is currently participating in international research regarding Lyme Disease. She had two homeborn babies who are now in their twenties, and the more recent privilege of catching both of her grandchildren in her own home. Hilary lives in Albuquerque, and is on a quest to discover the next new adventure.

Geradine SimkinsGeradine Simkins, CNM, MSN —  is a midwife, leader, activist, and author.  She began as a direct-entry homebirth midwife in 1976 and became a nurse-midwife twenty years later. For nearly 40 years she has provided health care for women, infants and families in a variety of settings, including home births, a freestanding birth center, and hospitals. Geradine’s work with migrant farmworkers and American Indian Tribes focuses on addressing healthcare disparities and engendering a more equitable maternity care system for all women and infants.  Geradine has served as a national leader in midwifery and women's health. She was a member of the MANA Board of Directors for over 15 yeas, including two terms as President, MANA's first Executive Director, and a member of the ICM Governing Council, as well as other leadership roles.  Geradine is author/editor of Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives, an anthology of the life stories of 25 remarkable women who have dedicated their lives and careers to midwifery and social change. And finally, Geradine is currently the Owner/President of Birthways Consulting, LLC.

Brittany SimplicioBrittany Simplicio, CNM, MSN  received her midwifery degree from the University of New Mexico. She is both Dine (Navajo) and Zuni Pueblo originally from Shiprock, NM. She is currently practicing as a nurse-midwife back home on the Navajo reservation in Fort Defiance, AZ. She is the current Vice President of the ACNM Indian Health Service/Tribal affiliate. As a National Congress of American Indians Health Graduate Fellow her interests lie in health policy, health literacy, contraceptive counseling, traditional healing, and continuing education for teenage parents. 

Mary Lou SingletonMary Lou Singleton —  is a primary health care provider with a passion for helping families live more connected, sustainable lives. She has been studying herbalism for over 25 years and spent 15 years practicing as a busy homebirth midwife. Currently she owns and operates Enchanted Family Medicine, a holistic health clinic in Albuquerque where she provides affordable, accessible integrative medicine to newborns, elders, and everyone in between. 

Emily StevensEmily Stephens —  is a midwifery consumer who is an active participant in the advancement of midwifery care.  With a background in counseling and social work, Emily joined the board of the Midwives' Association of Washington State in 2011.  She currently serves as their Vice President, as well as chairing the Research and Data Committee.  She also facilitates a postpartum support group in Olympia, Washington, where she lives.

Sandra Butoni Stewart — has been the Executive Director for the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council since November 2011. Prior to joining the MEAC staff, Sandra worked as a health care lobbyist in the State of Michigan, as a grant-maker for the Michigan Women's Foundation and as a fundraiser for a US Senate Campaign. As a proud consumer advocate for improving maternity care, Sandra is co-founder of Birth Network National and the CIMS' Birth Survey (Transparency in Maternity Care) project.

Heather Thompson, MS, PhD —  is an applied molecular biologist and has been working as the Research Director at Mountain Midwifery Center since 2010. She is passionate about the interface of cannabis legalization with pregnant and new families and, in addition to policy work, provides education for perinatal providers in her home state of Colorado. Her passion is informed by more than 10 years of in-home postpartum care and her work with Elephant Circle, an organization that provides non-profit legal services to families who intersect with a variety of institutions due to legal marijuana use.

Dr. Eliseo TorresDr. Eliseo Torres — Since he was a boy growing up on the border of Texas and Mexico, Eliseo Torres, known to everyone as “Cheo,” has been fascinated by the folk traditions and folkways of Mexico and of his Mexican American roots. Both of his parents were versed in aspects of herbal lore and healing, and as he matured he learned from them a love and respect for the history and folk knowledge of the ancient art of curanderismo, or Mexican folk healing. Now an administrator at the University of New Mexico, where he is VicePresident for Student Affairs and a member of the faculty of the College of Education, Cheo regularly lectures and gives presentations on the history and lore of curanderismo to audiences ranging from scholars and students of Latin American culture to people hoping to become knowledgeable about alternative and traditional medicine, including lay people and medical professionals alike. He has published two books on his life in and research on his subject area: Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing, and Healing  with Herbs and Rituals: A Mexican Tradition, both available from the University of New Mexico Press.

Hien Tran

Tara TulleyTara Tulley, CPM, LCSW — specializes in psychosocial issues affecting childbearing women. Tara co-founded The Community School of Midwifery and The Community Health Clinic with programs emphasizing diversity and psychosocial wellness as a fundamental piece of maternal health care. Tara specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, PTSD, and pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders.


Jennifer West, LM, CPM, CST, CH, TBMP, IPE —  has been a passionate homebirth midwife since 1989 and is the founder of Albuquerque Homebirth, a practice that specializes in waterbirth, hypnosis for birth, Total Body Modification, CranioSacral care, independent placenta educator, CPR instructor and various energy modalities. She also teaches local classes and presents at conferences when asked. Jenny is also the President of the National College of Midwifery in Taos, NM.